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06/01/2021 14:25 GMT | Updated 07/01/2021 10:53 GMT

The Chase's Anne Hegerty Reveals How Her Quiz Persona Was Intended To Be Very Different

The professional quizzer appears as The Governess on the ITV quiz show.

The Governess may be a well-established part of The Chase, but Anne Hegerty has revealed how her quiz persona was originally intended to be very different. 

Anne, who has been a professional ‘Chaser’ on the ITV quiz show since 2010, has said she wanted to play a much “creepier” version of the stern character viewers have fallen in love with over the years. 

Appearing on Wednesday’s Loose Women, the former I’m A Celebrity contestant told the panel: “Originally the character was going to be more sort of creepy than she is.

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Anne Hegerty on the set of The Chase

“I remember saying I wanted her to be a sort of cross between Caroline Aherne as Mrs Merton and Daphne Fowler on Eggheads. I wanted everyone to think in terms of Delores Umbridge and the creepiest thing about her was those damn kittens.

“But then a friend of mine said that is a bit too different from what you are like and you won’t be able to maintain that.”

Anne then revealed that her persona is partially based on her “formidable” grandmother. 

She also spoke about her close friendship with fellow Chaser, Mark Labbett, telling of how she is godmother to his child. 

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Anne with Mark (back right) and their fellow Chasers

Anne said: “We do speak at least a couple of times a week, we are just good mates. I am godmother to his kid. If one of us is upset about something, the other one will sort of check in and say, ‘Are you okay?’ We’re very sort of mutually supportive but there is a sense in which all the chasers are very mutually supportive.

“We are concerned about Paul’s [Sinha, who has Parkinson’s Disease] health, for example, and making sure everyone is okay.”

Meanwhile, Anne’s fellow Chaser Jenny Ryan revealed this week that presenter Bradley Walsh had to come up with a new name for her, after she was unhappy with producers’ first pick when she joined the show in 2015. 

The quizzer – known as The Vixen – told Lorraine earlier this week: “The producers had been trying to work out what my nickname should be and they wanted something animal-y, because I like a lot of animal print. They suggested ‘The Cougar’, and I said no, because I’m too young to be a cougar.”

She revealed that Bradley eventually came up with The Vixen, because of Jenny’s red hair and the fact foxes are “really intelligent animals and are cunning and can be quite fast”.

Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV, with The Chase following at 5pm.

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